Another Week of Positive Drinking!

Feldstein, Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

You want descriptors? I've written a lot about Feldstein's wines, his whites in particular, and the Sauvignon is fairly consistent: passion fruit and gauyava with a hint of raspberries fruit (but don't take my word for it, because I don't eat that many fruits), chalk, pecans. But that's not the point. I don't think descriptors are what you need to look for, in any wine. Because... fuck descriptors. You want magic, don't you? We all do, or, at least, expressiveness, for lack of magic. Winemaking is all about a lot of choices, big and small, that point the wine in some direction or another. These choices underscore or emphasize the grape, terroir, vintage, winemaker or all of the above. What I particularly love about Avi's wines over the years, especially his whites, is how his choices let a sort of almost delicate expression - one that belies his gruff surface - bloom in the glass. (Feb. 9, 2021)

G.D. Vajra, Barolo, Albe, 2015 

I called it a workhorse five months ago. More like a racehorse now, graceful and nuanced. Once again, there's that lovely interplay between cherries, earth and truffles - for the zillionth time, cherries sautéed in truffle oil (and rolled in the dirt for good measure). (Jan. 31, 2021)

Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre, Guigne-Chèvres, 2018

This strikes a great balance between delicacy and power, lime and lemons splattered on chalk and shells, complex aromatics, a textured, focused palate. Like other Vacheron crus I've tasted, this seems to mold the Sauvignon flavors in a relatively narrow spectrum, thus focusing on its mineral, saline character. (Feb. 13, 2021)

Niepoort, Douro, Redoma, 2014

It's a cinch this will keep and improve, so great is its balance, but it's lovely right now. It's a fragrant red blend of 70+ year old vines of various varieties, with nuanced aromas of red fruit, violets and pungent earth, while the mouth has the lithe textured mid-palate of a Burgundy Premier Cru, with a similar level of complexity, and a complex, mineral-tinged finish. It's quite a beauty, one that will surprise tasters used to more powerful Portuguese reds. I love it to death. (Feb, 14, 2021)

Vincent Paris, Cornas, Granit 30, 2018

When not extracted or over-oaked, young Syrahs, especially from the Rhone motherland, can be such a joy. Here, the fruit is simply succulent and tangy, the acidity and tannins bite on the finish and the whole thing is adorned by violets and pepper. The somewhat rusty aftertaste serves to remind that, gentle and sensitive though the winemaking may be, this is indeed Cornas, where the reds used to need decades to soften up. It's the entry level Paris Cornas (the 30 indicates the relative youth of the vines as well as the relatively gentle slope of the vineyard) but it still offers a lot of wine as well as good aromatic complexity once it opens up after an hour or two. (Feb. 15, 2021)

Château Potensac, Medoc, 2010

Even at this relatively low level (Cru Bourgeois), this is a wine that still needs time and/or air, even on its tenth birthday. Black fruits, wet rock, cedar, loosely wrapped in a clock of oak some alcohol - not awful, but there, invulnerable to air and time. Slightly fuller than medium-bodied , the fruit, tannins and acidity are in good balance, for such a young claret, but this was definitely opened at least five years too early. (Feb. 17, 2021)